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FALLS OF NIAGARA FROM THE AMERICAN SIDE.
EARLY the next day we set off for Goat Island, and pursuing the path which I have before mentioned, to the distance of about half a mile beyond the guide's cottage, we descended by a steep laddercommunication to the ferry. On the shore we found several artists taking views. The American Fall, which is nearly opposite, is seen to great advantage from this place.
We crossed over, amongst waves, currents, and eddies, in a small boat; but, although the water, from its vicinity to the cataract, is in a very distarbed state, the ferry is perfectly secure, and it appeared to be skilfully managed.
The ascent on the American side is partly contrived by zig-zag paths, and partly by ladders About midway, the view is peculiarly splendid. Seen from this situation, the torrent has no relief, and appears as if descending from the sky. A small part of Goat Island and the British fall are seen beyond, on the right, in magnificent perspective. Goat Island is connected with the village of Manchester, on the American shore, by a wooden bridg constructed in the very centre of the Rapid, and not more than 400 yards above the Fall.-De Roos's Travels in the United States and Canada.
VOL, 11. 3d SERIES
MARGARET and Louisa were the daughters of a respectable gentleman residing in a small village in Berkshire, who were so unfortunate as to lose their mother in their infancy. It happened, however, that they were blessed in the character of the school to which they were sent, and where they spent the greater part of each year, during the period of childhood. When Margaret was 16, they were taken from school to keep their father's house, and there they were allowed every indulgence which was proper for young ladies in their situation. They had a very handsome supply of pocket money; their father having admonished them, previously to his making this allowance, respecting the duty of remembering the poor, whenever they felt themselves tempted to lavish their money on superfluities. These young people had left school more than two years, when one wintry evening, a poor travelling woman knocked at the door, and begged for relief. She stated that she was a soldier's wife--that her husband, who belonged to a marching regiment, had been embarked on board an East Indiaman, at Portsmouth, a few weeks since and that she having received one guinea, had undertaken to return to her home in Ireland, accompanied by her two children, who were both with her one being six
gave a long and affecting description of the anguish of separation, and of a severe illness she had endured by the way; and she produced several letters and other written documents to prove the truth of her disastrous story.
Margaret and Louisa felt all that might be expected on hearing such a tale. They were also much affected by the appearance of the little pale and shivering girls, and the decidedly unhealthy countenance of the unhappy mother, who seemed wholly unable to drag herself any
further. Their father had a comfortable barn--comfortable in comparison of the many wretched places in which the miserable woman had not unfrequently taken up her night's lodging. They caused a bed to be made on the straw, in the corner of it, and provided a good supper with some warm beer and spice. But not to spin out my story to a great length, I shall satisfy my reader by saying that the poor Irish woman never rose from this bed of straw; and was removed from the barn only to a narrower and colder bed, where we trust she found repose at last, inasmuch as it seemed that she was by no means such a stranger as she might have been expected to be, to the knowledge and love of God the Father, as he is revealed in the Son, and made known to the sinner by the Holy Spirit. And now leaving the mother to rest in her humble grave, we proceed to speak of her little daughters, Rose and Catharine, who after her funeral, sate side by side on her grave, calling upon their father, who was, perhaps, by that time, in another hemisphere.
All who had attended the funeral, were much touched by the melancholy and forlorn situation of these poor infants, and the parish officers came to the father of the two young ladies, (who are the principal persons in our tale,) to consult whether the orphans should not be forwarded to their friends in Ireland. But where these friends were, or if any such actually existed, was a question not easily answered; for although the mother had mentioned a public house in Cork, where she had been a servant for many years, and where she had first seen her husband, yet so rapid had been her decline from the time she had been received into the barn, that nothing more of her history, or of her husband's had been gathered from her. It seemed; therefore, that it would have been a cruel measure to have sent the children to Ireland, and in consequence, after some deliberation, some of the
wealthier inhabitants of the parish, agreed to contribute each a little towards their maintenance. Margaret and Louisa having asked and obtained permission to be their chief benefactors, and in fact the entire managers of the whole concern.
It was soon settled between the sisters, that Margaret was to have the arrangement of every thing belonging to Rose, whilst Louisa was to have the charge of Catharine, and as the children were still weeping by the grave, they lost no time in engaging a widow who lived in a cottage on their father's grounds, to take them in for a few shillings a week, and to fetch them immediately to her house.
I pass over the scene which took place at the grave when the widow Nash attempted to withdraw the children, suffice it to say that she could not induce them to move, till they perceived the shades of night stealing over the church yard, and giving dubious forms to the tombs by which they were surrounded. These little girls were not without those superstitious fears so common to the lower classes of their country people; and these fears for once operated for their advantage. They were told that the little Irish girls were safe and comfortable, in a bed which had been made up for them in a corner of the widow Nash's upper room, after having undergone a thorough ablution from the hands of the kind matron; and they proposed keeping them there till they had provided for each of them a suit of clothes, which, with the assistance of all the females of the family, they proposed to effect before noon the next day, intending to rise at six o'clock for this purpose. --As they were going to bed, however, an amicable dispute arose between the two sisters, repecting the materials which were to be cut up for the little girls.
Margaret, as the eldest, and we trust the wisest, declared her intention of using certain remnants of coarse stuff, common printed calico, blue check, and ordinary cloth, which she happened to have by her, whilst Louisa as firmly persisted in her determination of appropriating some of her own old clothes to the use of her child. She said, “I will have my little Catharine look nice, Margaret, she is a pretty child, and I will have her distinguished from the ordinary class of poor children in the village. It shall be seen through the parish, that what I do is well done." In vain Margaret reasoned with her, and begged her to begin as she could go on, in vain she reminded her of the parentage and condition of the child, and of what might be her views in future life. Louisa arose with the same determination as those with which she had gone to rest; and when Margaret saw her sister about to cut up a coloured muslin of her own, to make her child a Sunday frock, she felt so much embarrassed how to ma. nage the dress of her own child, perceiving at once that very unpleasant feelings would undoubtedly arise in the breast of Rose, if she found herself dressed in a style so much inferior to that of her sister, that she resolved to open her difficulty to their father. In consequence of this wise resolution, Louisa was obliged to give way at that time, and the clothes which were sent at noon to these little girls, were such as every kind and prudent person might approve. Louisa was not an ill tempered girl, she therefore soon got over the little anger she felt when she found that her sister had mentioned the subject to her father; notwithstanding which, she soon fell into a new error respecting her little girl.
As soon as these children were comfortably established with Mrs. Nash, and had begun to feel themselves at home with the kind widow, Margaret proposed that they should attend a little school in the village, on which Louisa replied, “ You may do as you like with your own child, Margaret, but my child shall go to no such place